Westpac improves finance terms for ECEC business in wake of latest sector reforms 

Westpac improves finance terms for ECEC business in wake of latest sector reforms 

by Jason Roberts

June 21, 2022

Westpac has become the first high street bank to signal that its lending criteria for loans to the early childhood education and care (ECEC) sector will be loosened making it easier for operators to access finance to expand their businesses. 

 

The development comes in the wake of commitments by the Federal Government to improve affordability for families, and both the New South Wales and Victorian Governments recent announcements of significant investments in early education. 

 

“Providing access to fast and competitive finance will be essential to support growth in the childcare sector,” Chris de Bruin, Westpac’s Head of Consumer and Business banking said, revealing the bank would offer ECEC businesses reduced equity requirements, competitive lending rates and establishment fees and place a sector specialist team of business bankers at it disposal. 

 

“When Government policy and corporate sector commitment are aligned, change can be driven quickly. We know that access to finance is a key barrier to expansion, so we’re making it easier for childcare businesses to get the funding they need to grow,” he added. 

 

The moves are not limited to just the ECEC sector, although it will be a primary beneficiary. 

 

Elsewhere, Westpac has confirmed that it will be updating the criteria for its lender’s mortgage insurance waiver so that more allied health professions such as speech pathologists and occupational therapists can access a loan-to-value ratio of up to 90 per cent without the additional cost of lenders mortgage insurance.

 

As with the ECEC sector, many of the allied health professions have a higher proportion of female professionals, with start up practitioners finding access to capital challenging to acquire. 

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